Diane von Furstenberg and Liz Claiborne, two Belgian-born women whose businesses have deep ties to Manhattan’s Garment District, will be this year’s additions to Seventh Avenue’s Fashion Walk of Fame.
This story first appeared in the May 15, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
They join the ranks of Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Mainbocher, Bill Blass, James Galanos, Geoffrey Beene, Claire McCardell and 17 other designers who already have their names in the sidewalk. Von Furstenberg’s and Claiborne’s names and an original design from each will be imprinted on star-shaped plaques that will be unveiled this summer by the Fashion Center Business Improvement District. Claiborne’s widower, Arthur Ortenberg, is expected at the Walk of Fame ceremony, which will be the first of its kind after a five-year hiatus.
This year’s selections were among the 35 nominees chosen by the Fashion Walk of Fame Selections Committee made up of fashion historians, curators and media. That list was then sent to 145 industry professionals to cast their ballots. Respondents were asked to select one living and one deceased designer, provided each had been in business for at least 10 years.
Von Furstenberg said, “I am grateful to be recognized by the Fashion Walk of Fame and to be included with such an extraordinary group of fashion visionaries. “
Ortenberg said, “I know she [Liz] would be deeply moved and honored to receive this distinguished affirmation of the work she did and the skills she brought to that work.”
After receiving numerous inquiries from tourists and passersby at the FCBID’s button-and-needle information kiosk about where they could catch a glimpse of the fashion industry, the group established the Fashion Walk of Fame in 1999 and initiated its first honorees the following year. “The Fashion Walk of Fame articulates the area’s historic significance and indicates that the industry still makes its home here,” said FCBID’s executive director Barbara Randall.